Dec 23, 2009

[How George Lucas Turned the Jedi Into Villains]

  I will admit that my opinion of the Star Wars prequels is, like most folks', pretty low. Actually, I find the entire morality of the Jedi and the Republic kind of reprehensible, actually. I had my first realization of this after reading this article in defense of the Empire, several years ago. I do not think the Empire was 'good', per se, but I could totally understand the feelings that went behind it's creation. The Republic was, by even the admission of the protagonists in the prequels, completely useless and corrupt. Yet even so, the Jedi defended it and attacked those who wished to secede because of it's corruption. That George Lucas made the Jedi into status-quo defenders of a broken system willing to use an army of brainwashed slaves to crush opposition, basically turned Jedi into bad guys. Way to go, George!

  The addition of 'midichlorians' lessened Jedi even more... they went from being enlightened figures to simply a caste of 'superior blooded' elitists. Making their powers genetic instead of spiritual/philosophical really cheapened the concept of Jedi, and that just compounded the overall ethical failings of the entire Republic system as outlined in the prequels. For some examples of Jedi hypocrisy (and the overall plot failure) of the prequels, this 7-part series on Youtube is fairly entertaining (even if the author has a bizarre fixation on violence against women as being hilarious). Also, can someone please explain the logic of having a 'ruling class' of people that is founded on their genetic superiority over others that then PROHIBITS THE PROCREATION of those people. If being born with a certain amount of midichlorians in your blood is what makes you able to use the Force, why on earth are powerful Jedi not encouraged to produce offspring with each other? I can see prohibiting relationships with non-Jedi, but to outlaw romantic relationships (and sex) all together? That makes no sense.

  It appears that Lucas, lacking the collaborative checks and balances that were present in the original trilogy, basically rewrote and over-edited his prequels into incoherency. However, the threads of an older, more rational storyline can still be seen through the murk of a watered-down, shallow final product. The original decline of Anakin was supposedly written to show him sincerely buying into the concept of a totalitarian Sith Empire being superior to the decadent, corrupt Republic and their self-righteous Jedi police force (plus, it appealed to his obsession with control). But then Lucas decided to make him do it out of 'misguided love' for Padme and edited the story to shoehorn that angle in. Of course, the prequels already suffer from so many non-sequiturs and unresolved plot points (like who ordered the clone army) that these changes just added to the overall mess.

  To me, it's obvious that Anakin never truly loved Padme. He wanted her, the way he wanted everything else in his life (and felt he was owed it). He only loved power and dominance, and that fact is best illustrated when he force-chokes her into unconsciousness just for disagreeing with him at the end of Revenge of the Sith. He was never supposed to be a misguided, empathetic character. At his core, he was always an arrogant sociopath, and Lucas' ham-handed attempts to try and make him more 'sympathetic' only further muddled the story. I guess he realized that his prequel depictions of Anakin were not actually showing any 'goodness deep inside' for Luke to later call out from Darth Vader, and tried to repair his mistake after the fact.

  Of course, all these topics are old hat and have been argued to death by Star Wars geeks everywhere, but I felt a random need to post something interesting this month. =P


oliemoon said...

Idk if you read Star Wars books or not, but I think you might like Karen Traviss's novels about the clone troopers. She says a lot of the same things about Jedi as you:

The Dark Horse Clone Wars comics/TPB also delve into the immorality of the Jedi running the war and continuing to serve the corrupt Republic. It's pretty twisted that the rhetoric Dooku feeds Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones is actually right and fairly morally sound.

please explain the logic of having a 'ruling class' of people that is founded on their genetic superiority over others that then PROHIBITS THE PROCREATION of those people

I'd say this is about the only thing that sorta redeems the Jedi--that they don't actively breed more of themselves/pursue growth in numbers and just let "fate" or whatever determine who ends up with enough midichlorians to use the Force.

Pai said...

I dwouldn't mind if that was their -choice-, but to impose that on people who are almost all brought in as small kids and who didn't really have a say or understanding of what they were 'signing up' for, is what I don't like about that rule.